Red Wings-Wild Preview

Todd Bertuzzi has played in 999 career games. His recent ones

have likely been some of his more enjoyable.

In his 1,000th game, the veteran winger will try to continue his

sudden offensive resurgence and lead the Red Wings to a season-high

fifth straight win Sunday against the host Minnesota Wild.

Bertuzzi had eight goals in his first 54 games this season but

has posted three two-goal games during Detroit’s win streak. He

scored his second goal Friday night with 7:32 remaining and gave

the Central Division leaders a 4-3 victory at Florida, their third

in a row on the road.

“I’m still capable of scoring,” said Bertuzzi, who has 287

career goals and 417 assists. “A lot of it has to do with who I’m

playing with. We’ve got pretty good chemistry.”

The Red Wings (36-16-6) have outscored opponents 20-8 during

their win streak after being outscored 12-4 over their previous

four games.

Bertuzzi’s linemate, Henrik Zetterberg, has eight assists and

one goal during a five-game point streak. Pavel Datsyuk also has

five goals and four assists since returning from a broken right

wrist Feb. 7.

“Everyone’s a little bit calmer,” Bertuzzi said. “Everyone’s

going out there and doing it. Be happy and enjoying playing out

there. I think we’re really concentrating on playing really solid

defense and when we do that we end up scoring a lot, too.”

While Bertuzzi has a five-game point drought against Minnesota,

seven different Red Wings have scored goals as the teams have split

two games versus the Wild this season.

Detroit, however, couldn’t hold on to a late one-goal lead at

home Nov. 19, losing 4-3 on John Madden’s overtime goal. The Red

Wings posted a 44-27 shot advantage in that game and a 27-17 edge

in a 4-1 victory Dec. 26, their 15th in 20 games against the Wild


Minnesota, fighting for a playoff spot, enters this game after

rediscovering its scoring touch and avoiding a third straight loss

with a 5-1 victory over visiting Anaheim on Friday.

Kyle Brodziak had a goal and two assists for the Wild, who had

scored one goal in each of their previous two games.

Minnesota, winners in five of six at home, got defenseman Marek

Zidlicky back after a 21-game absence due to a separated shoulder,

but Mikko Koivu left after the first period with a hand injury.

“It’s part of the game, injuries, and you have to try to live

with it and survive,” goaltender Niklas Backstrom said. “Everyone

stepped up. It’s not just one player that can fill his spot.

Everyone on the ice has to be better.”

The Wild recalled center Cody Almond from their AHL affiliate in

Houston on Saturday, a sign that Koivu might not be available for

this game.

“(Koivu is) a huge player on our team and it’s a big void when

he’s not in there,” Brodziak said.

If the Wild don’t have their captain, they might lean on

Backstrom, who has a 1.33 goals-against average in six starts this

month. He’s 1-4-2 with a 3.57 GAA in nine career appearances

against the Red Wings.

Detroit has split its past four games in Minnesota after going

7-0-1 there.